Focus on Jesus
And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus,
the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.
Because of the joy awaiting him,
he endured the cross, disregarding its shame.
Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people
then you won’t become weary and give up.
HEBREWS 12:1-3 (NLT)
No runner can finish a marathon without a clear focus. Whether we are enduring a race or the challenge of a lifetime, a clear focus helps carry us through the pain and distractions that can overwhelm us.
The importance of focusing on a goal couldn’t have been clearer for me than when I was making my baseball comeback. I would never have stuck with my grueling rehab regimen without a definite goal in mind – it was much too hard – I would have given up. BUT I was fixed on giving it my best to return to the major leagues.
Every weight that I lifted, every muscle that I stretched, every hour that I spent in the gym was focused on the day when I’d once more put on my uniform, trot out to the mound and throw my first pitch toward home plate.
Much more important though– a clear focus helps us endure in our spiritual life as well. Through the challenges I faced, I learned that it is impossible to stick with our spiritual regimen unless we keep the end goal in full view. Every trial that we face, every burden that we shoulder, every agony that we suffer must be borne with our everlasting destiny in mind.
That destiny is to be with Jesus – face-to-face, heart to heart with Him. That is why Scripture tells us to “keep our eyes” on Him. When Jesus is clearly in focus, we can be empowered to endure whatever trials come our way and not be afraid.
So we can say with confidence,
“The LORD is my helper,
so I will have no fear.
HEBREWS 13:6 (NLT)
When I consider how Jesus endured His trial, I am better able to face mine. Knowing what Jesus endured and how He endured it comforts me. Jesus doesn’t just sympathize with my pain – he understands it because He has endured it as well.
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses,
for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.
HEBREWS 4:15 (NLT)
When I focus on Jesus He empowers me to live out my faith. When I can’t go on, when I can’t possibly endure one more trial, setback or hardship, I can ask God to fill me with His strength. I can ask Him to empower me with His Divine energy so that I can face whatever lies ahead.
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence,
so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
When I keep my eyes on Jesus, I am never alone. The Spirit of God lives within me. God knows my every thought, ache and tear – every single one of them! I may have to endure hardship; in fact the Bible assures me that I will. But because I am a child of God, I will never have to endure hardship alone.
God has said,
“I will never leave you;
I will never abandon you.”
HEBREWS 13:5 (NCV)
On the journey with you,